CRIMINAL RECORDS, PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE , LONDON
[ASSI 35/235/7] Lent Assizes, Surrey 1795, Robert Gillett s conviction
"Calendar of Prisoners: Robert Gillett and John Markam, brought from Kingston Goal, committed by Joseph Mackrill and Francis Searle, Gentlemen, charged on the oaths of David Feltham and others on suspicion of feloniously stealing one pair of Window Curtains, bed furniture, several Blankets, and other things his property in the County of Surrey.
Indictment: Robert Jillett late of the Parish of Clapham, Surrey, labourer, and John Markam, late of the same, labourer, on 17 March 1795 at Clapham did steal: nine woolen blankets value £3, one muslin toilet value 5/-, one woolen stuff petticoat for a toilet table value 2/-, one muslin cover for a toilet table value 1/-, one bed coverlid of wool and linen value 5/- one woolen rug value 1/-, one woollen coverlid for a bed value 2/-, two cotton window curtains value 10/-, one set of furniture for a tent bedstead of linen and wool value 15/-, all the goods of David Feltham.
Gillet and Markam were sentenced to seven years of transportation each".
[PRO HO 26/5 Reel 2371]
January Sessions, Old Bailey, London
1797, Jan 7
GILLETT, Robt., vide ELSTON, Thos.
Jan 7 Elston, Thomas alias Robert Gillett aged 36,
5f 6in, dark complxn., brown hair, grey eyes, Kingston-upon-Thames, a Shoemaker
Place Committed Newgate, tried before Williams, Old Bailey
for Returning from transportation before his time had expired
on Jan 11,
Before Chf Baron
Sentence Death. Respd. (=respited) on the Report and pardoned 24 Febry 1797, to be
transported for life.
Transferred 28 Sept 1797 (to Prudentia?)
Note Is an old offender escaped lately out of Ilchester Goal where he was committed for a burglary - he broke open the house of Mr Trecothie at Addington in Surrey
[Also The Times, 12JAN1797], as follows:
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 11.
The Sessions commenced this day, before the LORD CHIEF BARON, the Justices ROOKE and LAW-RENCE, and the RECORDER.
Robert Gillett was charged with being feloniously at large before the expiration of the term for which he had been ordered at Surry Assizes. The Prisoner did not deny the fact, but stated his having worked all last winter with a shoemaker in Plymouth; and the Goaler testified to his good behaviour while in prison.---- Guilty, but recommended to mercy.]
OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT OF TRIAL [AJCP PRO Reel 2731]
ROBERT GILLET, otherwise ELSTON, was indicted for returning from transportation before the expiration of the term for which he was ordered to be transported.
THOMAS CAVE, sworn.-- I am a Police-officer; I remember the prisoner being tried at the Lent assizes at Kingston, and convicted, (produces the certificate of the conviction) ; I am sure he is the same man; on the 12th of April I took him down to Langston Harbour, and on the 13th I delivered him on board the Fortunée hulk, Captain Bunn, and I had a receipt for him; (the certificate read).
Q. You have not the least doubt that this is the same man ? ---- A. None in the world.
EDWARD SMITH, sworn.-- I apprehended the prisoner on the 26th of December last, in East Smithfield; I took him to the Public-office, Lambeth-street, Whitechapel; he was committed on suspicion of having returned from transportation, and I got Mr Cave to come forward, and he identified him.
DANIEL WEBB, sworn.-- I was in company with Smith at the apprehending of the prisoner in East Smithfield; I went with him to the office in Lambeth-street, and he was committed for re-examination.
Prisoner s defence. I acknowledge that I am the person, and hope your Lordship will forgive me.
Q. (To Cave). Do you know any of the circumstances under which this man got away ? ---
Prisoner. I did not know that I should be tried till Thursday or Friday, and I have no friends here; I have got a wife and five children; I am a shoemaker; I was at Plymouth, and worked with Mr. Wake all last winter.
Smith. He has behaved extremely well since he has been in custody. Prisoner. There was a ship came in, and a man there that knew me, and I was drove away for fear of being taken.
GUILTY. Death. (Aged 36)
Tried before the first Middlesex Jury, before The LORD CHIEF BARON
TRANSCRIPT OF ROYAL PARDON [AJCP HO PRO 420], death sentence respited to transportation for life.
"George R (signature)
William Smith & oths
Whereas William Smith Robert Gillett alias Thomas Elston Nathan Jacklin Thomas Smith Tate Corbett and Thomas Bales were at a session held at the Old Bailey in January last tried and Convicted of divers felonies and had severally sentences of Death passed upon them for the same We in Consideration of some favorable Circumstances humbly represented unto us in their Behalf are graciously pleased to Extend our Grace and Mercy unto them and to Grant them our pardon for the Crimes of which they severally stand Convicted on Condition of their being respectively Transported to the Eastern Coast of New South Wales or some and or other of the Islands for and during the terms of their respective natural lives. Our will and pleasure therefore is that you give the necessary directions accordingly and that they be inserted(?) for their Crimes on the said Condition in our first and next General pardon that shall come out for the poor convicts in Newgate and for doing this shall be your warrant given at our Court of St James s the twenty fourth day of February 1797 in the thirty seventh year of our Reign
To our Trusty and wellbeloved Sir
John-William Rose Kirk(?) recorder
of our City of London. The Sheriff of our By His Majesty's P. City and County of Middlesex & all others Command
whom it may concern George R
CONVICT INDENT FOR THE SHIP HILLSBOROUGH
[AONSW 4/4003 COD 133 REEL 392]
Name recorded as : Robert Gillet (alias Elston)